Student-athletes balancing sports and homework: Which comes first?

By Ashley Lodise
December 15, 2016

Student-athletes at Cabrini University learn skills like time management when it comes to balancing school work and athletics. These athletes spend long hours at practice and the rest of their time focusing on their academics. The passion these athletes have to be successful resides deeply in their hearts. This is because of their dreams to one day go professional or eventually carry out their major. 

According to Lynn O’Shaugnessy of CBS News, athletes at Division III schools, which are usually smaller private schools, found their athletic load to be most manageable compared to larger schools. 

“I probably spend three to four hours of my day doing homework and a majority of my time practicing,” Michael Diggins, a basketball junior, said.

Because Cabrini University is a Division III school the student body is so small that the professors are able to get to know their students.

This could be why students at Cabrini are able to create a connection with their professors, and is possibly another reason why Cabrini students do not find it as difficult to handle their workloads as compared to larger universities.

Do student athletes ever sleep?

According to The Foundation for Global Sports Development, not only can sleep affect a student’s athletic and academic performance in school, but lack of sleep can actually lead to a greater risk for injury. 

Theresa Mignogna, a sophomore soccer player at Cabrini, said that she is likely to take more naps when she is playing a sport.

Some students will say that playing a sport will affect their ability to get their homework done, but Mignogna said that she balances her time.

“If I have 45 minutes before practice to do my homework then that is when I am going to do my homework. If anything sports helps me to manage my time better,” Mignogna said. 

Some students can find that niche between balancing academics and a sport. Some find it difficult to balance both, especially when there is a heavy workload.

Renee Oliver, a senior basketball player, said that she does about eight to ten hours a week doing homework and practices about two and half hours a day, which is about 15 hours per week.

“School work can sometimes interfere with the sport because you need good grades to play, and sometimes that can stress you out,” Oliver said.

On the other hand, Mignogna said that both semesters of playing and not playing a sport did not affect her grades; in fact, they remained the same.

Time Management

When it comes to getting homework done for an athlete it is all about time management.

When asking if time management plays a part in her life Oliver said, “I use time management for everything because I work two jobs, it keeps me more organized than I already was.”

According to Peter Jacobs, a reporter from Business Insider, “Collegiate student-athletes may spend more than 40 hours a week practicing, leaving little time to keep up with academic commitments.” 

Nettie Godwin, a sophomore, ran cross country at Cabrini in 2015.

“There were days where I would get out of class and then I would have to wait until after practice to get my homework done. Sports are a way to motivate me to get my work done,” Godwin said.

It is up to the student-athlete to decide how they will use their time management skills to efficiently be both a good athlete and student.

Each athlete has their own way of balancing academics and athletics. Depending on the workload, time management and proper health will all decide how these athletes will work most efficiently.

Ashley Lodise

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